Homework can be a tough gig for the entire family. Kids are tired, parents are tired and the last thing anyone wants to do is sit down and work through extra academic activities and worksheets.
While the jury is still out on whether homework is a positive or negative for kids, while it is deemed a requirement by their school, it's a great help to have some strategies at hand that can make the entire process easier on kids and parents alike.
It's important to take time at the start of the school week, or when the homework is issued, to sit with your child and familiarise yourself with their homework requirements. Let your child explain to you what is expected of them for their assigned homework. Check that they understand what they are supposed to do, how to do what is required and ask if they have any problems. There can be huge problems if children are unsure of their homework requirements which can make the entire process stressful.
Once you're aware of how much homework has been allocated for the week, help your child set out a weekly plan to ensure it's all completed in time. If they have extra curricular activities such as sports during the week, plan homework around those prior engagements. If afternoons are particularly busy in your family, try to set out a plan that allocates mornings for homework, or perhaps homework needs to be completed over three particular nights as there is sports training on the other school nights. Whatever the plan, make it one that suits your child and your family.
A positive environment is much more likely to inspire a positive attitude in your child than a negative, stressful environment which is likely to produce an attitude where your child dislikes their homework and refuses to do what they need to do. Focus on your child's achievements to encourage their homework completion. Praise them for things they have done well in their homework and focus their attention toward their successes, encouraging them to reach for further success with your help.
If they are having a hard time staying focused, remind them of how quickly they'll be off doing things they love once their work is finished. Yelling or threats are only likely to stress your child more, making it harder for them to complete their homework.
If you've been working all day, chances are the last thing you feel like doing when you get home is more work. The same goes for a child who's been busy at school all day. If your allocated homework plan means doing work in the afternoon, be sure to provide your child with some down time where they can grab some refreshments, take a moment to themselves and breathe out the stress of the day before focusing on more work.
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